Customization for Success: Mapping Terminology

Most organizations develop proprietary terminology over time, derived from industry jargon,  acronyms used within the organization, internal system and process names, etc. When first using SD Elements, it may not  be clear what the terms mean within a specific organizational context. For example,  a company may have a single project that spans multiple applications, but the structure in SD Elements is the opposite: applications are containers for projects. Conversely, an organization may not use the term "application" at all,  and may instead use "product". End users who are unclear about SD Elements terminology may become confused and try to use the product incorrectly. Moreover,  this lack of understanding will impact their view of the products utility. As a result, it's imperative to create and communicate a mapping between SD Elements and corporate terms. This Mapping can be part of organization-specific training class, document, wiki or intranet page on how to use SD Elements within the organization.

Projects and applications in SD Elements are meant to be flexible concepts. An application generally could mean a particular application, product, software package or something else that makes sense in the context of the organization. Technically, an application is simply just a container for projects. Choose a definition that makes sense for the organization.

You can localize the terms application and projects in SD Elements. Click here for agent-only instructions on how to do so.

Projects can either define a release (e.g. Release 5), an iteration (e.g. iteration 5.1), a specific component and release/iteration pair (e.g. Mobile client, Release 5.1), or something else that makes sense for the organization. If you are unsure you should select a component and release/iteration pair.

When you have selected the meaning, choose a standard naming convention. For example, some companies have a standard ID in an asset management system such as “APPID 3556”. So you may want to select something like “APPID 3556: Human Resource App”. Look at other tools to see if there is a standard naming convention you can follow.

Finally, create an initial project in the system that serves as a template for other projects. Remember to add appropriate tags.

Some common terms to map:


Key Questions

  • What unit of work do software developers typically work on: projects, releases, etc.?
  • Which term is most appropriate: product, application, or something else?
  • Do applications typically have a numbered release scheme?
  • In iterative development, do individual sprints/iterations have numbers?
  • What is the scope of a single development team: do they focus on a single component or a whole application? If they focus on a single component, are those components named?
  • Do you already have a security requirements process? If so, what term most closely matches an SD Elements task: guideline, standard, requirement, or something else?
  • What are the standard phases of software development? Do they differ for agile and waterfall?
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